Issue 02:
New Space, Old Space, Our Space

ChinaGSD is proud to introduce the second issue of PIN-UP, “New Space, Old Space, Our Space,” packed with public lectures, Tour&Talks, interviews and exhibitions. Featuring voices from scholars, practitioners, students and the public, we hope to open up a cross-discipline conversation on the current scene of urban regeneration in China, examining, with a critical eye, the metabolism of our cities throughout time, and the challenges and opportunities that emerge when considering the various stakeholders involved.

As the outward growth of our cities begin to slow down, it is not a surprise to find that urban regeneration has emerged as a critical turn in the trend of urban development policy in recent years. Our cities have spaces that, at first glance, do not fit into the blueprint of the “ideal city”: urban gaps under elevated railways, factory buildings abandoned due to industry transformation, or historical buildings deserted through the century-long upheaval. They might have resulted from a piece of disgraced history that has healed itself through time, or were a necessary sacrifice in the name of modernization, or are the mere product of natural deterioration. Beneath their seemingly “obsolete” and “self-alienating” appearance, these spaces serve as our refuge from the rapid changes of the city.  In a contemporary world of universal civilization, the complex layers of history that inform these spaces might offer a certain ground for the exploration of “resistance” to our irresistible commodification of the environment. Facing these spaces, we must seek for an approach of urban regeneration beyond destructive redevelopments, one that neither erases nor worships the past, but instead converses with the existing urban fabric.

Yet, urban regeneration is not only an intervention of the morphological layering of history. It is also a continuing negotiation process and a collective effort that involves various stakeholders, including policy makers, urban planners, architects, development companies, community organizations, financial institutions, and most importantly, the public. Both Karen A. Frank’s concept of “Loose Space” and Jane Jacob’s notion of “Spontaneity of Cities” suggest that a significant source of urban vitality lies within the daily activities of the public, particularly within those that take place on the street or in informal spaces of the city. Indeed, the involvement of the public has become an essential dimension of urban regeneration, as these bottom up actions counterbalance the top-down impositions, adding new flavors and dynamism to the city.

To start off the discussion of this issue, we would like to pose a few questions: As designers, planners, and artists, how should we intervene sites that have been overlaid with complex historical information? As participants of the multi-stakeholder urban regeneration projects, how do we engage with the interplay between the pursuits of different stakeholders? As citizens and members of our community, how can we actively contribute to the process of regenerating our neighborhoods?

The issue will unfold through three main sections we have planned: a panel discussion, Tour&Talks, and an online exhibition. The panel discussion will examine in depth a selected urban regeneration project, inviting various stakeholders to have a conversation about the challenges and opportunities throughout the process. The Tour&Talk series will feature tours to selected regeneration sites led by scholars and architects, which are followed by discussion sessions between the guest speakers and the tour participants. To conclude the issue, we will have an online exhibition that invites everyone to document the “leftover” spaces in our cities, and to imagine creative ways of appropriating these spaces and redefining their purposes.

[1].Roberts, Peter, Sykes, Hugh, and Granger, Rachel. Urban Regeneration. London: SAGE Publications, 2016.
[2].伍美琴, 翟斌庆. "城市更新理念与中国城市现实." Cheng Shi Gui Hua Hui Kan, no. 2 (2009): 75-82. [3].Cozzolino, Stefano. (2018). Reconsidering Urban Spontaneity and Flexibility after Jane Jacobs: How do they work under different kinds of planning conditions?. 5.

Introducing Pin Up

Harvard University ChinaGSD is proud to introduce the online event and publication series “PIN-UP”. As Harvard GSD’s first online publication in both English and Chinese, each issue will feature events such as symposiums, interviews, and public exchanges based on a different theme, and will spotlight professors and practitioners at the forefront of the discipline. The publication can be found on our website, Instagram and Wechat, and will be updated throughout the academic year with highly relevant and current takes on design in Greater China today.

ChinaGSD Executive Board

PINUP Chief:

何牧 Clara He & 汪子京 Tommy Wang

PINUP issue_02 Planning Lead:

罗西若 Xiruo Luo & 闫雨 Delta Yan

PINUP Media Lead:

吴叶 Bella Wu

PINUP Media:

高盛枫 Shengfeng Gao,马骁尧 Xiaoyao Ma,施云子 Yunzi Shi,汪宸宇 Claire Wang,秦瑜 Qin Yu

Symposium Planning Team:

陈一诺 Eno Chen,何牧 Clara He, 罗西若 Xiruo Luo,唐艺窈 Yiyao Tang, 王玮晨 Weichen Wang, 汪子京 Tommy Wang,  闫雨 Delta Yan, 张国力 Guoli Zhang, 张世奇 Shiqi Zhang

Tour & Talk Planning Team:

陈一诺 Eno Chen,何牧 Clara He, 罗西若 Xiruo Luo, 沈一帆 Yifan Shen, 王佳佳 Jessica Wang, 汪子京 Tommy Wang, 闫雨 Delta Yan, 尹海鑫 Haixin Yin

Open Call Planning Team:

何牧 Clara He, 林桐 Tong Lin, 罗西若 Xiruo Luo, 汪子京 Tommy Wang, 闫雨 Delta Yan, 张世奇 Shiqi Zhang, 朱晓东 Xiaodong Zhu

2021 | ChinaGSD